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Film

The 1990s movie Paul Thomas Anderson calls "f**king amazing"

@Russellisation

Not only is director Paul Thomas Anderson recognised as one of the most important and influential filmmakers of the 21st century, but he is also a well-known purveyor of the craft, often discussing his favourite films to grace the silver screen. Often, it is the films of Anderson himself, however, that make it onto other such lists, with the likes of The Master, There Will be Blood, Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love being considered the finest films of modern cinema.

When it comes to Anderson himself, the director has long expressed his love for the films of Robert Altman, Alfred Hitchcock, Lars von Trier and Stanley Kubrick, picking out such classics as Nashville, Spartacus, Dancer in the Dark and North by Northwest as just some of his all-time favourites. More recently, he also praised the 2021 documentary, Gunda alongside his continued collaborator Joaquin Phoenix. 

Calling the film “pure cinema”, Anderson added: “This is a film to take a bath in – it’s stripped to its essential elements, without any interference” when talking about Viktor Kossakovsky’s monochrome documentary about the life of a pig. Descriptive and gushing over his love for the film, the director further explained: “It’s jaw-dropping images and sound put together with the best ensemble cast and you have something more like a potion than a movie”.

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Kossakovsky’s documentary was released the very same year as Paul Thomas Anderson’s own drama Licorice Pizza, starring Alana Haim, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie, Tom Waits, Sean Penn and the son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Cooper. Whilst Anderson’s project has been noticed with three Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture, the director will be disappointed that one of his favourite films from 2021 hasn’t been invited to the ceremony. 

Licorice Pizza, Anderson’s love letter to the 1970s, draws many comparisons to his 1997 film Boogie Nights that too explores the style and cultural history of the San Fernando Valley. With a glittering ensemble cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman, a story surrounding the film suggested that Leonardo DiCaprio was supposed to claim the lead role over Wahlberg but was pipped to the post.

Taking to The Ringer podcast, Anderson dispelled this myth, however, revealing that the actor simply passed on the role before announcing his love for the much-loved Hollywood actor. “I love Leo and loved him then because I was obsessed with What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” the filmmaker explains. Though, the director’s love for DiCaprio extends before the release of this film in 1993, crediting This Boy’s Life that came out shortly before as being the spark for his adoration. 

This Boys Life was a fucking amazing film,” Paul Thomas Anderson announced with excited, explicit description, bringing sharp attention to the 1993 film co-starring Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin and Tobey Maguire. To discover just what Paul Thomas Anderson is on about, check out the trailer for one of the director’s favourite films, below.

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